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Council discusses vacancies

By Staff | Mar 3, 2013

The Kiester City Council and United South Central School Board have a vacancy to fill.

Kari Jacobson submitted her letter of resignation as city clerk/treasurer/liquor store manager on Friday, Feb. 22.

She also is stepping down from the USC board, after serving eight years.

Jacobson says Mayor Jeanne Brooks was notified by e-mail on Feb. 22 that she was giving her two-week notice.

“It’s time to move on for career advancement. I have enjoyed the majority of my 12 years of employment,” she says. “I’m going to miss the friendships I’ve made.”

USC Superintendent Jerry Jensen and board members also received word of Jacobson’s decision by way of an e-mail.

Her resignation wasn’t a sudden decision.

For the past year, Jacobson has been looking for different employment.

Starting on March 19, she will begin working as an accountant with the city of Hermantown.

“They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse,” she says.

Hermantown is located six miles northwest of Duluth and has a population of nearly 10,000.

Jensen says Jacobson has played a vital role on the personnel, finance and negotiation committees.

“She has been a very, very good board member longterm. It’s Hermantown’s gain and our loss,” says Jensen. “We hate to lose her.”

District officials have been researching what the next step is to fill the seat.

Jensen says because Jacobson has less than two years remaining on a four-year term, the board will likely appoint someone.

First, the board will need to accept Jacobson’s resignation at their meeting in March.

“At that time we’ll discuss how the board wants to move forward,” he says.

City Council members held a special meeting Thursday night to discuss how to fill Jacobson’s position and hiring two full-time workers when maintenance supervisor Marlin Albers retires at the end of May.

Brooks thinks the duties of city clerk and liquor store manager should be separated.

“I’ve always felt they should be two separate jobs, whether they are full time or part time,” she says.

Councilman Rich Jensen agrees, saying that Jacobson may have been paid overtime hours at a clerk’s pay rate for managing the liquor store.

“It doesn’t take 40 hours a week to do the clerk’s job. Every city I have talked to says it doesn’t take that long,” he says.

school property or architectural requirements for the building,” she says.

Councilmembers told Schuster they aren’t interested in putting any restrictions on the project.

I & S is studying issues associated with the new school, such as streets that will be public or allowed to be owned by the school district, zoning and who is responsible for on-going maintenance.

The Planning Commission will discuss the zoning requests during a public hearing set for 5 p.m. on March 4 at the Community Center.

Councilmembers will hold a public hearing at 5 p.m. prior to their March 11 meeting at the Community Center.

In other business, councilmembers, Bloom and City Attorney David Frundt went behind closed doors to discuss contract negotiations with two unions.

Bloom says talks involve three full-time police officers, police chief, library director and liquor store manager.

Faribault County District 3 Commissioner Bill Groskreutz of Wells told the council a meeting to discuss animal control issues was scheduled for Feb. 27.

Groskreutz says he, District 1 Commissioner John Roper, two Blue Earth councilmembers and City Administrator Kathy Bailey and Sheriff Mike Gormley would be attending.

“I want to make you aware of the meeting in case there is a specific issue you want addressed or want to send someone,” he says.

Councilmembers decided to have Police Chief Jim Ratelle attend on the city’s behalf.